Akwa Ibom body Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio protests its inclusion in recent maps of Biafra saying it backs one Nigeria

AKWA Ibom socio-cultural association Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio has protested against the reported inclusion of the state in an imaginary map of Biafra pointing out that it remains committed to the principle of one indivisible Nigeria.


Over the last two years, agitations for the recreation of the defunct republic of Biafra have grown in southeast Nigeria with several Igbo groups wanting to break away from Nigeria and form a separate nation. Some of these groups like the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob), have even drawn up maps of Biafra, including Akwa Ibom State because it was part of the old Eastern Region.


In response to this, Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio has accused Ipob and the Movement for Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (Massob) of including Akwa Ibom and other states within the south-south region of Nigeria on the Biafran map without consulting them. It said it considered the inclusion an act of disrespect and provocation.


In a statement signed by its president Monday Etokakpan, and general secretary James Edet, Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio said: “We wish to remind the concerned Igbos that this senseless arrogance and callous disrespect for the Ibibio person, an endemic and pathological trait of their extraction has been at the core of the differences of our two nationalities.  And so as it was in the first republic, so it is now and so shall it be in times to come, Ibibio has nothing in common with Igbo.


"We differ in ancestry, culture, beliefs, character traits, language, food, names, dressing and all. If Nigeria were to break up today, Akwa Ibom would be at home and in league with our kin and kindred in the proposed Atlantic Republic consisting of present States of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, and Rivers and our capital city shall be Port Harcourt.


Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio said that Akwa Ibom, for now, prefers to stay within the Nigeria federation. It added, however, that if the Igbos are desirous of and eventually successfully break away from Nigeria, the Ibibio people in Akwa Ibom and Cross River States will be totally indifferent and will only be there to bid them farewell.


“As a distinct and independent-minded people of over 7m in population we will continue to weigh our options on the Nigerian chess board and make the right moves the way we want it, in the direction we want, at the time we want. We will partner with whomever we want to, if we must partner with anyone, to serve our best interest," Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio added.


In addition, it said it was unfortunate though not surprising for the northern youth to order the Igbos to leave the north before October 1 and blamed the situation on the country’s refusal to start a process of restructuring the federation. Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio called on northern opinion leaders, elders, religious and political leaders and indeed the federal government to do the needful in reining in this mindless radicalism from their youth.


“Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio would like to remind the northern Nigerians that no one, youth or elders in the country has the monopoly of violence and that the lives and legitimately acquired property of the Ibibio person means the world to us. Therefore, no harm must befall them wherever they have chosen to live in Nigeria and indeed anywhere on the surface of the earth," Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio said.